New rules concerning the applications filed under the Quebec “Skilled Workers” class.

New rules concerning the applications filed under the Quebec “Skilled Workers” class.

Since August 1, 2013, new rules have been adopted regarding procedures for the intake and processing of certain applications for a “Certificat de sélection du Québec” (CSQ) submitted by permanent workers, investors, businesspeople and self-employed workers. These new rules are in effect from August 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014.  What follows only concerns the skilled workers; for information regarding business applicants, click here.

Maximum number of applications

The MICC (Ministère de l’Immigration et des Communautés culturelles) will receive a maximum of 20,000 new applications for a Certificat de séléction du Québec under the Program for skilled workers, beyond which the applications received will be returned.

This maximum number of applications does not apply to you if:

WARNING: The 20K cap will be counted taking into account not only the applications filed on or after August the 1st 2013, but also those filed prior to this date, for which the MICC has not yet started the actual processing (i.e. they haven’t reached the stage of “preliminary examination”).  This retroactive application of immigration rules is a “first” when it comes to the Quebec procedures, and will affect perhaps hundreds if not thousands of applications filed over the last few months.

Order of priority for processing applications

Effective August 1, 2013, applications will be processed in the following order:

  • applications from candidates submitted under the Programme de l’expérience québécoise (Québec experience program);
  • applications from candidates who submit a valid employment offer;
  • applications from candidates who obtain points under the factor Area of training;
  • any other application submitted by permanent workers.

Language knowledge

If you submit an application under the Program for skilled workers, be informed that:

  • the weighting in the selection grid for knowledge of French has changed. The level required to obtain points for the factor Language knowledge has been increased;
  • the advanced intermediate level has become the minimum threshold from which points are attributed for knowledge of oral and written French;
  • two points can be attributed to the principal applicant for knowledge of written French.

If you submit an application under the Programme de l’expérience québécoise (Québec experience program), be informed that:

  • the level of knowledge required for oral French has been increased:
    • If you choose de demonstrate your level of knowledge of French by means of a standardized test, the level required is now advanced intermediate.
    • If you choose to demonstrate your level of knowledge of French by means of your schooling, you must have completed a minimum of three years of secondary or post-secondary studies in French.

Note that henceforth, for foreign students who have graduated in Québec, the application for a Certificat de sélection du Québec must be submitted in the 36 months after obtaining the diploma.

All applications will be processed according to the new rules in effect as of August 1, 2013, with the exception of those for which processing began prior to that date.

Areas of training

The 2013 List of areas of training is aimed at addressing the Québec job market outlook for immigrants.   It deserves to be noted that, for the first time, graduates from educational institutions outside of Quebec (very few of them indeed) will be able to collect 16 points for the “area of training” factor.

All applications will be processed according to the new rules in effect as of August 1, 2013, with the exception of those for which processing began prior to that date.

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Changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Effective July 31, 2013, employers applying to hire temporary foreign workers (TFWs) must pay a processing fee of $275 for each position requested to cover the cost of a Labour Market Opinion (LMO).  Applications concerning seasonal agricultural workers are exempt.

The same day, amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations have come into force which introduce subsection a new language assessment factor. As a result of this change, English and French are the only languages that can be identified as a job requirement, both in LMO requests and in advertisements by employers applying to hire TFWs, unless employers can demonstrate that another language is essential for the job.  Employers advertising a job for a position that legitimately requires a language other than English or French must clearly demonstrate, in writing, that the language requested is consistent with the regular activities of the job (e.g. a translation company hiring a translator to work in a language other than English or French, a tour company catering to foreign tourists only in a non-official language).

Advertising period

Employers must advertise available positions in Canada for at least four weeks (instead of two) before applying for an LMO. This requirement applies to all advertising methods.  In addition to advertising on the national Job Bank website or the equivalent provincial/territorial websites, employers must prove that they have used at least two other recruitment methods that are consistent with the advertising practices for the occupation.

  1. If hiring for a higher-skilled occupation—one of the methods must be national in scope;
  2. If hiring for a lower-skilled occupation—employers must demonstrate that they made efforts to target under-represented groups in the labour force.

Employers must also continue to actively seek qualified Canadians to fill the advertised positions until an LMO has been issued.

Finally, the new LMO application form includes additional questions that must be answered by the employer. These questions were added to help ensure that the TFWP is not used to facilitate the outsourcing of Canadian jobs.

There is no transition period.  The new rules were published on 31 July 2013 and apply to all applications that reach the Service Canada on or after that day.

 

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